I needed a place in downtown Oakland. Didnt want to hassle with parking but wanted good food. Never too fancy. My husband suggested Flora. Yummy salads and great fried chiken: a thigh piece! I never get that these days. It’s always the breast. Salmon cakes were smokey and tasty too. Next time the chicarrones. I didnt want to scare my lunch date! Only drawback: not the quiet intimate place to negotiate a deal.
Amaze your friends. Make the best salted caramel ice cream with the Bi Rite Creamery book. I loved making this with the kids and having them see a solid turn into a liquid before their very eyes. And how about the reaction you’ll get when you throw the cold cream in to the hot sugar! Chemistry at its best.
I dont know why it took me four years to find a good sushi restaurant in Seattle, but it did. Shiro cooks for Bill Gates. I should have just asked the boss. Shiro on 2nd Ave has been serving local, sustainable sushi before it was trendy and his book, well, it’s art. He’s a delightful chef with a beautiful small who likes to scare guests with his live shrimp. You must sit at the sushi bar!
The only other place to go is Sushi kappotamura. The chef trained with Shiro.
I met Peggy Knickerbocker through the Chez Panisse Foundation. I’ll never forget the first time I met her in her house. We immediately felt a connection because she was making popovers and I told her how my father used to make them for me when I was little. She was making them for her cookbook Simple Soirees. The vinegar chicken is one of my favorite recipes from that book! The first time I made it I didnt have the apple cider vinegar so I used brown rice vinegar; had an onion not a shallot; had fresh marjoram and no parsley; and had whole canned tomatoes and no paste. Maybe I changed too many things and Peggy wouldnt recognize her recipe! But it was delicious all the same.
I made bread for the violin teacher and she sent me this amazing article on no knead bread.
From Bretagne (Northern France) — “koo-ween amahn” but first word is just one syllable. Like queen but with a little more “k” sound. Kouign is bread/cake and amann is butter in Bretagne dialect.
I love it when you can eat something totally foreign to you and it delights and surprises you. This week it was a kouign amann. I found it at two different bakeries this week but they were both made at Starter Bakery. A yeasted puff pastry of sorts that is only slightly sweet and nicely buttery. My ideal companion to coffee or tea. I buy these but not for long. I’m going to try David’s recipe until I master it.
Do you know the differences between: a crisp, a crumble, cobbler, a brown betty, a buckle and a pandowdy? Do you care? You should. Fruit desserts are in! Crisp: uses oatmeal. Crumble: not oats, streusel top/butter, brown sugar, flour. Cobbler: biscuits or pie crust on top. Brown Betty: bread crumbs, in layers with fruit. Buckle: cake with fruit mixed in and streusel on top. Pandowdy? Topping is biscuit, puff pastry, pie crust or other. Trick is that it is broken half way through so fruit bubbles up. Who knew these things? My favorite is the cobbler. Try the Chez Panisse cream biscuits.
There is a grainy texture to these delicious cookies. For a time my husband was convinced that it was because they used whole wheat flour, wishful thinking on his part that he was eating something healthy. I was convinced it was ground up coffee; they are coffee people. Both wrong: it’s a course salt and a course sugar. Mystery solved.
My husband drinks those Synergy/Kombucha drinks. I have never been a fan but I was introduced to this new probiotic drink at a meeting recently. KeVita is made by by Bill Moses, wine maker in Ojai. He wanted to create the next generation of soft drinks. I think he did it!